Since launching The Frontispiece in 2015, we have designed over 200 book projects for clients ranging from first-time indie authors to some of the largest publishers in the world. We love working with all of our clients, but if we had to choose, self-publishing authors are our favorite.
Working with a publisher can be a lot easier in many ways. Publishers tend to have clear standards, protocols, and systems in place to make our job as book designers as easy as possible. They provide images and typefaces for us to use, and detailed creative briefs describing the requirements for cover or interior designs. A lot of designers prefer this kind of creative direction from people whose jobs it is to a) sell as many books as possible and b) keep a finger to the pulse of the ever-changing publishing market. Unfortunately, all those systems and protocols intended to market and sell books remove a great deal of creative control from our process, which we cherish.
We love our partners in this traditional style of publishing, and we aren't one to critique their processes or their work. It’s just that working with self-publishing authors is often far more rewarding. Here’s why:
Self-publishing authors know everything.
We truly believe that the best people to consult about the design of a book are authors themselves. Though an author may not be the most design-literate person, we trust that they do intimately understand the contents of their writing. No amount of time that we spend editing or reading through a manuscript will eclipse the amount of time an author has spent with it. For this reason, they remain our go-to resource when trying to parse out the right design solutions to apply to their finished book. Oftentimes, successful design for self-publishing authors comes down to honest and active communication. If we ask the right questions from the beginning, we're more likely to achieve results earlier and keep the author motivated and excited about publishing their book.
Self-publishing authors know nothing.
Self-publishing authors are often the first to admit limitations to their knowledge when it comes to design. In our onboarding process, we ask a series of pointed questions to best understand the level of understanding an author brings to the table before we begin working with them. Regardless of their experience level, our clients recognize from these onboarding conversations that we are here to help them fill any and all gaps in their knowledge.
Every self-publishing client is different, but we have yet to meet one who wasn’t committed to their book, and willing to step outside of their comfort zone to make it a reality.
Self-publishing requires a desire to learn while simultaneously managing your teachers, whether they’re editors, designers, or marketing consultants.
Since we know that self-publishing authors have a lot on their hands, we’ve created a couple of resources to help with some potential book design and self-publishing needs. Check out our articles to learn more about the book design process for the self-publishing author.
Why Template Book Covers are Bad (Coming Soon)
What a Designer Can Do That Microsoft Word Can’t (Coming Soon)